Former England international forward Wayne Rooney is set to make a step further in his career, he agreed terms with Championship side Derby County to become a player-coach starting in January 2020. The 33-year-old forward is still under contract with Major League Soccer club DC United in Washington, and he still had two more years on thatc contract. Rooney 23 goals in 41 league matches for the American side since having joined them from Everton in July 2018. Wayne Rooney is still England's all-time record goalscorer.
"I'm sure I can make a big contribution," said Rooney. "While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England. I am very excited about the opportunity Derby County have provided me with. I am looking forward to joining manager Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January. I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County, working with both the first team and academy."
Derby County replaced manager Frank Lampard, who joined Chelsea this summer, with former Netherlands midfielder Philip Cocu and their target is to get promoted to the Premier League at the end of the current season. They started the campaign with a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield on Monday. "The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the academy," manager Cocu said about Rooney. "To have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us."
"To have Wayne Rooney as a player, and equally as an aspiring coach, is incredible and I can only imagine the buzz this will generate amongst our supporters," Derby County chairman Mel Morriss added. "This is clearly an exciting signing for us. On the back of Wayne joining, we have just been offered a record-breaking sponsorship deal with our principal shirt sponsor." The chairman insited that they signed Rooney primarily as a player, but that the forward wanted to develop his coaching credentials ahead of a possible managerial career.
Derby County are currently 9/2 at William Hill to get promoted to the Premier League this season.
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